All about Braces: Reasons to Get Braces, Types Available and Cost of Braces
What are Braces?
Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments provided by dentists or orthodontists. They are used to correct problems with dental alignment by straightening teeth and/or by correcting the way teeth fit together. There are several types of braces used in modern orthodontics, beyond traditional metal braces. Read on to learn about if you might need braces, the types available and what to expect in terms of cost and comfort.
How do I know if I need braces?
There are more reasons to get braces other than to improve your smile. Having your teeth in alignment can improve dental hygiene and alleviate future dental issues. Misaligned teeth can cause gum disease and impact the bone structure later on in life. How do you know if you need braces?
According to the American Association of orthodontics you may need braces if:
- Your teeth are crooked, crowded, protruding and need to be straightened
- You have gaps between your teeth that need to be closed
- You have a malocclusion, (e.g. overbite or underbite), and your upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly, affecting your bite
- Your teeth are misaligned because of a birth defect, e.g. a cleft palate.
How do braces work?
Braces work to put pressure on the teeth and move them into alignment. There are different types of braces that work in different ways some offering more advantages than others.
Types of Braces: Which One Is Right for You?
To know which braces are right for you is a choice you will make alongside your orthodontist. Here’s some information on the types of treatment available to help you make a decision.
- Metal Braces
Metal braces, also called traditional braces, have metal brackets that are attached to your teeth along with a flexible wire that can apply continuous pressure to gradually move the teeth in a particular direction.
Advantages of metal braces: metal braces are still one of the most common methods used for orthodontic treatment because they can be the least expensive, are effective and usually get results relatively quickly for a shorter treatment time overall. Since they are fixed you don’t have to worry about removing them when eating as you do with aligners. Custom colours can be used by those who wish to personalize the colour of the elastics or rubber bands on each metal bracket.
Disadvantages of metal braces: most would list the appearance of metal braces as a disadvantage, however they have improved and modern technology has allowed for less noticeable braces along with improved wires that help teeth move faster. They can be uncomfortable after adjustments are made or it a wire is loose.
Comfort level: When braces are first affixed you will experience some discomfort and again when adjustments are made. It is temporary and the latest wires offered generally result in less pain. Your orthodontist may give you some wax to put on any sharp areas that dig into your gums.
Who they are for: Anyone wishing to correct the alignment of their teeth in the shortest amount of time.
Who they aren’t for: Anyone who doesn’t want their braces to be obvious.
- Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are affixed to your teeth just as metal ones are, and function in the same way. Ceramic braces can be made to match your tooth shade with clear elastics and wires so they aren’t as noticeable.
Advantages to Ceramic Braces: Blend in with tooth surface and aren’t as prominent. They work quickly as metal braces.
Disadvantages to Ceramic Braces: Brackets can easily stain if the wearer isn’t diligent with their cleaning and oral hygiene. They are more expensive than metal braces.
Comfort level: The level of discomfort experienced with ceramic braces, are the same as with metal braces.
Who they are for: Anyone wishing to correct the alignment of their teeth in a shorter time but doesn’t want metal braces.
Who they aren’t for: Those who aren’t diligent with oral hygiene as they can stain.
- Invisible Braces/ Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
Invisible braces aren’t actually braces. They are a type of orthodontic treatment that uses clear and removable trays to correct teeth alignment known as clear aligners.
Advantages of Aligners: They are a great alternative to metal braces since they are removable and have low visibility. This may be beneficial to adults who wish to remove the liners during high profile events. They are relatively painless. Since they can be removed, brushing and flossing and oral hygiene is easier to maintain.
Disadvantages of Aligners: Aligners must be removed when eating and drinking. If you drink something other than water throughout the day your aligners may stain. If you are constantly removing the aligners to eat and drink and forget to put them back in, you may prolong treatment. Your teeth must be brushed before putting the aligners back in after eating which can be tricky for those going to school or while at work. This type of treatment may take longer overall.
Comfort level: Aligners can cause less discomfort than traditional metal braces and may better suit those who are more sensitive to pain.
Who they are for: Adults who don’t want to draw attention to their orthodontic treatment or teens that are self-conscious about metal braces. Individuals who are responsible and won’t misplace the aligners when they remove them to brush and will brush before putting them back in.
Who they aren’t for: People with serious oral misalignments, such as those with “crossbites”. Kids or people that have trouble with additional responsibilities and may forget to take them out when eating or misplace them at school.
- Lingual Braces
Unlike metal and ceramic braces which are affixed to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the back, hiding them from sight. Lingual braces can still be seen when wearers talk or open their mouth wide, but they are less likely noticed when compared with braces that are affixed on the front.
Advantages of Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are often the best option for adults who want to conceal their braces. They usually have the same function and effectiveness as traditional metal braces, except for their placement or location.
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces: Can be difficult to clean because of their placement, wearers can’t see them. Can impede speech. Though all braces can affect speech to some degree, lingual braces have a greater impact on speech and take longer to adjust to. They have a longer treatment process and cost more.
Who they are for: Those who want braces that are affixed to the teeth but hidden.
Who they aren’t for: Those with serious orthodontic problems which require extensive treatment.
Comfort Level: Having lingual braces can cause a lot of tongue discomfort since the tongue can constantly rub or push the metal affixed on the teeth.
How much do Braces Cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment often varies and depends on the following factors:
- Preference of patient on type of braces
- Orthodontist’s rate
- Cost of materials used
- Length of treatment
The length of the treatment will vary depending on the nature of your orthodontic needs. There is also a variation in cost depending on the type of braces you choose. Below is a general price range for different types of braces for an average treatment plan.
- Metal Braces: range from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the length of your treatment plan, insurance, and orthodontist.
- Ceramic Braces: the cost of ceramic braces today is around $4,000 to $8,000, which is slightly more expensive than metal braces.
- Invisible Braces/Aligners: In Toronto, Ontario, the most preferred clear aligner system is Invisalign. The average cost of clear aligners, including Invisalign, usually ranges from $4,000 to $7,500.
- Lingual Braces: The average cost of lingual braces is usually around $8,000 to $10,000, making them the most expensive option among affixed braces.
Does my Insurance Plan Cover Orthodontic treatment?
You will need to check your individual plan; however orthodontic treatments for children under the age of 18 are usually partially covered by insurance companies. It’s important to speak with your insurance company if you have plans of having orthodontic treatment to see whether you have coverage. If your health insurance plan does not cover orthodontic treatments, supplemental orthodontic insurance may be an option.
At Diamond Dental Clinics we will explain all treatment options available to you, offer a reasonable treatment plan to work with your budget and explain all expenses associated with having braces and other orthodontic treatments upfront.
If you’re considering braces contact us and get started on improving your smile today!